5 Wrong Moves You Shouldn't Make With Arthritis

Don't Be Derailed

Tom Merton/OJO Images/Getty Images

We often talk about what you can do to manage your arthritis. The discussions have included treatment options, practical advice, and suggestions to help you cope with chronic illness. But, let's consider wrong moves that you can make -- moves that can derail your effort to control arthritis. I have put together a list of 5 wrong moves. My list is not based on a scientific study. It comes instead from decades of personal experience living with rheumatoid arthritis, as well as being a health writer/author and part of an online arthritis community since 1995.

Sticking With a Bad Doctor

Once you are diagnosed with a chronic disease, such as arthritis, you likely will be under the care of a doctor and require periodic evaluation to monitor disease progression and the effectiveness of treatment. You must be able to trust your doctor, have good communication, be able to work together, and have mutual respect. A good doctor-patient relationship is an essential element in your ongoing care. Don't make a wrong move by settling for less.

Unnatural Fear of Treatment

There are several treatment options for arthritis. You may choose to follow a traditional treatment regimen or you may consider alternative or natural treatments. There are benefits and risks associated with any treatment. It is important for you to be aware of potential side effects of treatment or possible complications that can occur. Having an awareness of potential problems is important.

You should be vigilant and report anything that appears abnormal to your doctor. But, don't anticipate problems that are unlikely to develop or have an unnatural fear of what may develop. Fear may force a wrong move. You may decline treatment based on unrealistic fear when it actually could be beneficial.

Non-compliance With Treatment

After a treatment regimen has been prescribed, you must follow your doctor's instructions. It becomes your responsibility to follow through with the plan. That may involve taking oral medications according to a certain schedule, injecting medication yourself, or going to have an injection administered to you. If you fail to comply with the prescribed treatment regimen, you are consciously undermining the plan. If you have a concern about the proposed treatment, discuss it with your doctor. Non-compliance is clearly the wrong move.

Lack of Full Disclosure

Some people hold back and don't tell their doctor everything that they should. I'm not referring to someone who forgets to mention something. We all do that. I am referring to a conscious effort to conceal pertinent facts. It mostly is done to prevent perceived consequences from becoming reality. For example, people sometimes fear being hospitalized if they tell their doctor about significant symptoms that have developed.

Your doctor can only be helpful when all cards are on the table, metaphorically-speaking. Hiding information from your doctor essentially puts him in a stranglehold, unable to fully help you. To be a partner in your health care, you must be committed to full disclosure. Anything less is a wrong move.

Negative Attitude

Arthritis can make life difficult. Living with chronic pain and physical limitations is, simply put, not much fun. You can easily be brought low by arthritis and understandably develop an attitude that makes you cry out such things as:

Why me?
I can't live like this.
No one understands.

While those feelings may be explainable and understandable, you can't keep yourself parked there. It will work against you. It is essential for you to rally -- find ways to reduce stress and anxiety, be optimistic, and continue to fight for better days ahead. Positivity will help you. Negativity makes everything worse and is the wrong move. 

Continue Reading